Richard Hudson’s Speedway World

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Action is coming thick and fast for the Eastbourne Lifestyle Eagles now that the season is finally under way.

After the weather saw official practice and the first match at Arlington called off because of a waterlogged track, the bikes finally roared into competitive action on Good Friday.

On that evidence it looks very much if a pattern (probably unwanted) which developed last year is set to continue in 2013.

The 2012 team became infamous for their slow starts to the meetings; it taking half-a-dozen races before they clicked into gear to kick on – usually to victory.

So, in that respect it was same old, same old on Good Friday. Lakeside held an early advantage and then were truly swept away. The man doing the damage for the Eagles was Lukas Dryml as he stormed to 14 points (and two bonus) from six rides.

Bjarne Pedersen is clearly his enjoying return to the Sussex side after a sticky year at Birmingham. He rattled in 14 points from the No1 berth and looked the real deal. Adam Shields, returning after effectively two years out of the sport, weighed in with nine points, plus a bonus.

He declared himself well satisfied with the performance and he warranted the run-out given to him by team manager Trevor Geer in heat 15. It will have boosted his confidence no end.

Cameron Woodward looked extremely fast but fans were worried about the performances of Timo Lahti, Simon Gustafsson and Denis Gizatullin.

Taking into account the earlier meeting at Lakeside, which the Eagles lost 49-40, Lahti had finished last in five consecutive races before he found some speed and recorded two paid wins in his final two races.

Gustafsson had looked OK at Lakeside but could not get going in the evening at Arlington while Gizatullin was a disappointment.

He had spent much of the previous week practising on the big Polish tracks – perhaps not such a good idea as it turned out.

Final score at Arlington: Eagles 51, Lakeside 41.

In the away leg of the “double header”, Eastbourne took an early lead but then let points slip away. Riders were pipped on the line and suffered machine problems and that cost the Eagles dear. They were certainly worth one league point and with a bit of luck could have snaffled victory.

The busy start to the year continues tonight (Friday) when Eastbourne go to Peterborough. Team manager Trevor Geer has high hopes of getting some away points on the board but is wary that the home team will be desperate to improve after suffering a double defeat to King’s Lynn on Good Friday.

Tomorrow (Saturday) Wolverhampton are at Arlington (7.30pm). They feature two Grand Prix riders, Tai Woffinden at No 1 and fearless Freddie Lindgren in the No 5 slot.

It is a power-packed top end and Eastbourne will be hoping to contain the top two while striking hard when the Wolverhampton lesser lights are on track.